Steve Birnbaum and Perry Kitchen were part of Jurgen Klinsmann's January camp and in a mild surprise, Birnbaum got the first start between the two, in the United States' 3-2 loss to Chile. Birnbaum also got a parting gift from the camp with an MCL issue which should keep him out of D.C. United's games in Austin, but he should be set to go against Alajuelense. Kitchen did not get a start, rather he saw time as a substitute in the US 2-0 win over Panama.
The United States started out strong, with Michael Bradley scoring a goal off an Olimpico in the 27th minute, and Gyasi Zardes putting Clint Dempsey through with a ball which was put past Jaime Penedo in a crime by Los Angeles Galaxy players on Los Angeles Galaxy players. The team appeared a bit more comfortable than in its last game, playing in a formation closer to the 4-4-2 (4-2-3-1?) than the United States three man backline in its last match.
It was not all milk and honey for the U.S., as former Seattle Sounder and current Tottenham Hotspur player DeAndre Yedlin had to leave due to injury in a match where Jozy Altidore left at halftime to a possible hamstring issue, a recurring problem among U.S. players under Klinsmann. Kitchen came on for Mix Diskerud in the 72nd minute with the result in hand and availed himself nicely with the few touches he had and passes he made.
That said, we will leave the last words on D.C. United's representation in Camp Cupcake to one of its veteran leaders:
Congrats to my boys @StevenBirnbaum and @PerryKitchen23 on their debuts. Now get back home, we've got business to take care of. Let's go!— Davy Arnaud (@d_arnaud22) February 9, 2015
Indeed Davy Arnaud, indeed.